Below is a guest blog by Michael Kok (Ph.D. in Biblical Studies, University of Sheffield) on the topic of his new book regarding the identity and reception of the “Beloved Disciple” in the Fourth Gospel, and how the text came to be associated with the apostle and evangelist John in the centuries following its composition.
Kok is a friend and colleague of mine, whom I first met in person two years ago at the Society of Biblical Literature annual meeting in Atlanta. Kok is a Christian, and although we don’t always share the same views, I’ve found his research on the authorship, reception, and canonization of the NT Gospels to be highly relevant to my own studies. Kok also runs an academic blog–The Jesus Memoirs–which you should all check out!
Thanks to Matthew Ferguson for the invitation to discuss my book The Beloved Apostle? The Transformation of the Apostle John into the Fourth Evangelist. The content below is reproduced by permission of Wipf and Stock Publishers. http://www.wipfandstock.com.
The Galilean fisherman John dropped his fishing nets and got out of his boat to become a disciple of Jesus. He was part of the inner circle of Jesus’s twelve apostles and a “pillar” of the Jerusalem Christ congregation (Mark 1:19–20; 1:29–31; 5:37–43; 9:2–9; 13:3–4; 14:33; Acts 3:1, 3, 4, 11; 4:1, 6, 13, 19; 8:14, 17, 25; Galatians 2:9). The religious establishment heaped scorn on John as an untrained layperson (idiōtēs), as literally “unlettered” (agrammatos) in Acts 4:13, but the church tradition enshrined him as the “disciple whom Jesus loved” who published the Fourth Gospel and four other New Testament writings. In my work, I have attempted to answer the following questions about the church traditions: